Listen Up: On Senior Spring Dating and People Who Avoid Saying Hi

Right before this picture was taken, Betty called Hyemi a doodle ball and Hyemi is still confused what that is.
Right before this picture was taken, Betty called Hyemi a doodle ball and Hyemi is still confused what that is.

Hi, Harvard! The advice-giving duo Betty and Hyemi is back to answer all of those burning questions about life that prevent you from paying attention in lecture, starting that paper, studying for that midterm, doing your pile of laundry, or any other responsibility you are currently pretending doesn’t exist. Why keep them to yourself when you can submit them here and receive answers of the highest quality? Seriously, we iMessage each other with very fast response rates to discuss them, so you know we’re invested! Here are some of your questions from the past two weeks:

Right before this picture was taken, Betty called Hyemi a doodle ball and Hyemi is still confused what that is.
Right before this picture was taken, Betty called Hyemi a doodle ball and Hyemi is still confused what that is. By Hyemi Park and Betty Anne Richardson

What is with the people you have met before who literally still never say hi or acknowledge your presence ever, like what is up with that, is it SO HARD?

Hyemi: Truth! I think we are all guilty of the classic “I just made eye contact with you from across the Yard and now we are walking closer towards each other so I’m going to quickly take my phone out and pretend I just saw something extremely interesting on my screen to avoid saying hi” move. It is in fact especially annoying if you thought that after meeting them, said person would become your friend. Maybe people are afraid that you don’t remember them anymore or are for some reason scared you won’t return the hi back and would rather not risk the potential embarrassment, so consider saying hi first? And if they don’t return it, that’s plain old rude!

Betty: I feel personally attacked by this… I’m probably one of those people far too often, and let me tell you that at least in my experience, the problem is us—not you. We probably want to say hi to you, but then ruminate over the possibility that you won’t remember who we are or won’t say hi back, and then immediately whip out our phone and stare at it intently until we pass by you.

Is senior spring still an appropriate time to start dating?

Betty: I’m no love guru, but of course senior spring is still an appropriate time to start dating. The heart wants what it wants when it wants it, and it certainly does not discriminate against senior spring. Just hope that your new bae is ready to follow you into the real world (or that you’re ready to drop them like a bad habit come graduation.)

Hyemi: Sure, why not? In fact, I think it could be even more exciting since it’s both of your last semesters, so people will try to make the most out of their time left at Harvard. Also, to be honest, I don’t even know what dating means anymore so my bad if I assumed you meant a monogamous relationship! Like some of my friends say they’re “dating” someone after hooking up with them a few times, while others use it when they’re referring to a super serious monogamous relationship where they only hang out with each other and in the rare occasions I actually get to hang out with the one who is my friend, I always feel like the third wheel and wonder why I subject myself to such torture. But in any case, whatever your definition of dating is, I give you a big resounding yes—go for it!

Why won’t my TF love me back?

Hyemi: The age-old question we’ve all had in our sections...but whoa, are you sure about the usage of the word ~love~ there? Here are some potential reasons why your TF doesn’t love you back: 1) that’s illegal, 2) they don’t know you love them, 3) you don’t do your readings and they can tell, 4) you trying to make prolonged eye contact with them in section makes them feel like you’re uncomfortably probing into their soul, and 5) you linger around after section too often to ask them “questions” and they just want to get home.

Betty: I’d have to agree with Hyemi here––love is a very strong word to just toss around like that whenever your TF is decently attractive enough to make section worth attending. But if your usage of love is sincere, I’d urge you to ask yourself whether or not you have made your affection clear to the TF. If you have made it clear and they’ve responded poorly, then chances are you’re probably section kid, and everyone (TFs surely included) hates section kid. If you haven’t yet made it clear you’re in love with this TF, then odds are you have to make the first move and hope that you don’t get Ad Boarded.

What’s the most useful skill set you gain from college that’s not learned from an academic setting?

Hyemi: Social. Cues. I’m pretty positive I entered college as an extremely awkward individual and will be leaving as a moderately awkward individual, so I’m very proud of myself. For example, freshman year me might have wanted to be your friend but would abruptly run out of lecture every week instead of making small talk afterwards because I was scared that I’d be late for my next class. When you live in an environment where your social, academic, residential, and extracurricular lives all collide, you learn a lot of small lessons that you don’t necessarily think about before you go to bed at night and say “Wow, I’m so glad I learned not to tell the entirety of my life story so loudly in Lamont Cafe today!” but nonetheless accumulate and positively impact how confident you feel about interacting with people.

Betty: That would definitely be how to take Rubinoff to the face without even a flinch (yeah, it’s possible and yeah, I’m a legend—what of it?) But if you’re not up for that challenge, I’d have to agree with Hyemi on this one. She did enter college an extremely awkward individual. But so did I, along with probably everyone else at this establishment, because I’m pretty sure it’s against this school’s principles to accept socially competent students to Daddy Harv (unless you’re famous or something). And then they run this social experiment where they see how awkward things can get before we learn how to converse during lunch in sentences more complex than “Hi, I’m Betty from Boston and I live in Wigg F. What’s your name? *immediately forget name* Where are you from? *maybe remember* What dorm are you in? *literally don’t care unless you happen to live in Wigg F, too*” I still have PTSD from those dark days in Annenberg… But, alas, it gets better, and I’m happy to admit that three years later, I am a bit less socially inept.

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